I know I must have been engrossed in what he was saying, because I had already forgotten that my pants zipper had broken in the ladies restroom only moments before. I had already tuned out the energy I was expending pulling the hem of my camisole over the broken zipper while simultaneously pretending nothing had happened. The brain cells that were focused on projecting the breeziness the evening required were apparently now fully integrated into my autosomatic nervous system. My full attention was focused on him, on this first meeting, and the conversation at hand.
I was engrossed in what he was saying, because I was discovering that that Mr. Country Music-lovin’ Youth Worker had a desire to pursue a simple life. He was talking about his desire to live in a way that paid remembrance to the poor. He talked of reading Sojourners and being impacted by the music of Derek Webb. He was reciting my own heart’s desires back to me, and we’d only met two hours before.
Since Austin, we’ve rented moving trucks, purchased wedding bands, and settled into a day-to-day rhythm together mostly because of the power of what transpired during a few small conversations in Austin. After the flurry of all of that, it is finally now, 3.5 years later, when we are feeling a pull to move with intentionality to those things we were professing to desire the night we first met…contemplating how best to remember the poor from our current vantage point and how to live as simply as we can so we can give more to others.
Last weekend, I finally picked up my copy of More with Less, which has been sitting on the shelf for at least a year, thanks to brother and sister-in-law, but which has unfortunately mostly stayed unopened. I think I was inspired because one of my friends is eating lentils and rice everyday for lent in order to better understand how the poor eat. As I read More with Less, I felt like I could move towards a desire for a simpler life by starting with our kitchen, a place I spend a good portion of my week already.
A few months ago, one of my friends tweeted (I believe facetiously) that it would be rad for someone to blog about cooking through the Mennonite cookbook a la Julie and Julia. While I will attempt nothing so structured, I did look up at husband last week and ask him how he’d feel about us working through the recipes in More with Less. I acknowledged it’d mean more lentils (a food we both experience ambivalence towards), less dessert (more of a sacrifice for him than me), but would help us to really start a journey we’ve been wanting to start for the whole of our lives together.
So, we’ll begin shortly.
(P.S. And less we be deemed too pious, we’re not becoming ascetics. Yesterday, we were in Ballard, and husband had a coupon for Cupcake Royale that he was dying to put to use. One lavendar cupcake and one red velvet cupcake were consumed in under 60 seconds, and there was much rejoicing. Living a “More with Less” lifestyle doesn’t mean there can never be “More with More,” just not everyday.)